“Oh, please,” I scowl and bat his hand away. “I don’t need a sugar-coated reminder that I’m fat and ugly.”
Mika’s face fell. “Bella, that’s not what I meant and you know it. Have I ever said or even inferred that?”
I laugh. “I got the message loud and clear the day you said you were leaving me for my sister. Now are you going tell me the real reason you’re here?”
Mika put his hands together again. “I just. . .I miss you, Bella. When the kids are with me, I feel like half a parent. You’re missing from our lives. You’re missing from my life.”
“Whose fault is that?” I spit and turn my back on him, wishing the kettle would hurry up and boil.
He moves closer. I can feel his body heat. “You’re missing from my work. I haven’t given a decent speech in years. Everyone at the firm hates it when I stand up to give a speech at a dinner. They all pull out their iPhones and start texting and playing games.” He chuckles at the memory.
It becomes harder to think, his body’s warmth burning me. This is not supposed to happen. He should not be able to arouse this kind of sexual response to him anymore.
I shake my head. “So that’s what this is really all about? You need me to write a speech for you? Here’s a news flash, Mika: you fired me from that job. Ask Tiresa to put words in your mouth to make you look good. I’m sure she’s good for something, though I haven’t figured out what.”
Unbelievably, he begins to massage my shoulders. “I don’t need a speech. Forget the speeches. I came here to tell you to ignore Tiresa. She has no business telling you what to wear.” He bends down and speaks softly in my ear, raising the hairs on my neck. “And I do miss you.”
“Right,” I say dryly, but I also close my eyes, savoring the sensation, the remembrance of how it used to be. My mind takes a nosedive into oblivion. He continues massaging and kisses behind my ear, my neck, my shoulders. “Mmm, Bella. You’re such a woman.”
“Stop it, Mika,” I say without compulsion.
Mika grabs my shoulders, turns me around and kisses my neck. “No,” I push him away but he clutches me. “Mika, I mean it. You’ve got some nerve.”
“You know you want this, Bella,” and he sucks my neck hard. It’s been so long since heâ€”anyoneâ€”has touched me that I can’t make him stop. I don’t want him to stop.
“The kids. . .” I protest.
“They’ll stay outside. Come on, you want this, don’t you? When’s the last time?” His hand wanders down my body.
It flitters through my foggy mind that his words aren’t much different from Wesley’s, and yet instead of feeling angry and insulted, I’m yielding to him.